Our Kindergarten Curriculum

Most of Josie's friends started school yesterday.

After crying on the first day of Vacation Bible School, I realized I am no match for a school drop off.  It was bittersweet to see pictures of all the kids she's grown up with, packed up and climbing on the school bus.  Part of me wants those milestones for Josie too, but the majority of me knows that she is right where she belongs at Pope Academy.

To make sure she has as much fun as possible during her first official year of homeschooling, I spent a lot of time researching what programs we would use.  We are still focusing on the Three R's; reading, writing, and arithmetic.  I also added in some science, history, and geography.

Here's a peek at what we will be studying:

For math we are sticking with Math U See.  Josie started the Primer last Spring and loved it.  The video lessons are great and the blocks reinforce the lessons.  We do the worksheets until I know she gets it.  Sometimes that means we do one worksheet, sometimes we have to do them all.

I broke language arts into two sections.  For writing and grammar we are using Write Shop.  I kept smiling as I was planning this one out because I know that Josie is going to love it.  Each lesson focuses on a different part of creative writing and ends with a publishing project for her to share.  She can write herself or narrate to me.  The goal of this is to get her thinking about writing and the rules for doing it properly.  For penmanship, we will continue doing copy work and pen pal letters.

Josie is picking up on reading quickly and I'm sure that within a few months she will be reading.  We are doing simple flash cards to get sight words nailed down and using Explode The Code and Alpha-Phonics for phonics lessons.  Both of these programs are awesome.  Explode The Code is teaching basic blending and has a lot of reinforcement.  Alpha-Phonics is great because it has her reading simple stories right away.  This will be a huge motivator for her.  I'll be documenting our progress in this subject so check back to see how the programs work.

I am way excited about adding geography and history to our school day!  I flunked most of my history classes because I couldn't get into the way I was taught.  I'm determined to make history and geography fun for my kids.  It is such a cool subject!  We are going to learn about continents, maps, and a few countries for the first half of the year and use Confessions Of A Homeschooler's Road Trip USA for the second half.  Road Trip USA focuses on a different state every week or so and adds in history. 
We are also adding in an actual science curriculum this year.  I went with Nancy Larson's Level 1 boxed program and it looks awesome!  Everything we need is in the box and the lessons are scripted out so that it is extremely easy to teach.  I will be blogging our work in each unit.  I cannot wait to get into this one!  

We will be wrapping up We Choose Virtues too.  We started this last year and I haven't been steady about learning our new Virtue Kids.  Josie loves this program, but it was just the first to get cut when we were short on time.  I do think that it is important so we will be adding it back in.  Once we are finished, I'll be on the hunt for a new Bible program for us to work through.

On top of our actual curriculum, I'm going to keep our themed units going but stretch them over a month instead of a couple weeks.  These are where I fit in our extras like art, cooking, and field trips.  We will spend a lot of time reading about each topic and having fun exploring them.

Unit Themes:
September - Apples
October - Food Groups
November - Pilgrims
December - Christmas Activities
January - Clouds & Snow
February - Dinosaurs
March - Bears
April - Birds
May - Pete The Cat

Woo!  I'm a little tired just typing that all out!

We won't be doing every subject everyday.  Friday is our local co-op day so that is all we will do that day and we still plan to take lots of days off to explore and just enjoy life.  This is the last year that I'm not required to track attendance but I'm going to anyways.  I want to see how close we get to the 180 required days.

Kindergarten, here we come!


Sarah said...

Oh I am right there with you...I don't think I could handle the daily drop off. I can't wait to see how your science goes! We also have a few of the same theme units this year as you. Okay - you go first so I can get all of your fantiastic ideas! :)

Andrea @ No Doubt Learning said...

Ooh, I forgot to mention our Explode the Code - oops! I have a kindergartener too. I'm excited to follow along with you this year! Found you through the Not Back to School Blog Hop :)

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean! When my oldest was old enough for Pre-K she begged me to let her goto school. I wanted to homeschool her, but she pulled on my mommy heart strings enough and I agreed. However, on her first day I could not leave her. I stayed the whole day hoping if I seen what she would be doing I would be okay with this. I was not! Thankfully, on the car ride home, she told me she did not want to go back ~> Yay! From that day we have always homeschooled :) She is now going into the 5th grade, but her little brother is in Kindergarten. I have also been figuring out what to use for him. I have decided to use an online program called Time4Learning. We also bought some school zone work books and of course flash cards.
You have a wonderful Blog and I will visit often as I enjoyed reading your journey.
Happy Homeschooling :)

Jesse Lovelady said...

What a great looking line-up! Have a great year, mama!